Chinese Social Media Feasts On Reports Of Xi Jinping's 'Ouster'
Chinese President Xi Jinping became one of the top trending topics on Twitter amid unsubstantiated reports he is under house arrest and that China is in the midst of a military coup, Ewan Palmer reported for Newsweek.
Photo Insert: Xi and the phrase #ChinaCoup trended on social media after tens of thousands of users spread unconfirmed rumors that the president was detained and overthrown by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Xi and the phrase #ChinaCoup trended on social media after tens of thousands of users spread unconfirmed rumors that the president was detained and overthrown by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
This speculation, which has not been discussed by any reputable sources, arrived as there are hardly any commercial flights flying over the capital of Beijing on Saturday, with unverified reports claiming all trains and buses are also being canceled out of Beijing.
A widely shared video posted on Twitter is also reported to show a line of military vehicles up to 80 kilometers long heading into Beijing amid reports of a military coup on September 22.
Among the unproven rumors circulating is that Li Qiaoming, a general for the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's military, has replaced Xi, Xander Landen reported for Newsweek.
Li was born in 1961 and was promoted to serve as a general—the PLA's highest rank—in 2019, according to Indian television station OdishaTV. Li is also a member of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) central committee.
Li had been considered a contender to serve as a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) —a panel with authority over military decision—according to news outlet Nikkei Asia.
Several members of the seven-member body are expected to retire next month. CCP holds its party congress next month.
Nikkei Asia reported that Li wrote an article that resonated with Xi, who has wanted to increase the communist party's control over the army.
"The Soviet Union collapsed because the party didn't have its own army," Li's article stated, according to the outlet.
Yet, party elders want to cut Xi’s awesome power by getting him out of the CMC and criticized him for violating meritocracy since he is a “princeling,” the son of a CCP propaganda chief whose career was bolstered by his mother who asked CCP leaders to appoint to district, provincial and later regional posts.
Privately, wealthy Chinese consider Xi a “clown,” and one of his critics was sentenced to life imprisonment, like Bo Xilai, a Shanghai CCP chief who was imprisoned for alleged involvement in the death of a son-in-law who was a foreigner.